Social media can be incredibly important to any business. But if you are not analyzing the data behind the platform, you are practically missing out on important insights that can inform important data driven decisions and help you achieve real results. To find those insights, you would need to be tracking the right social metrics around your industry, company, products, competition and more. And with this, you know that it can be overwhelming. If you want to successfully evaluate the results of your social media efforts, you need to track the right social metrics.

In this post, we’ll know what is reach and exposure. They are often used interchangeably as they both represent the size of your potential audience. However, there is a slight difference.

What is Reach?

It is the potential audience for a message or a post based on the total count of followers or likes. It is important to note that Facebook has its own analytics around each. It defines reach as “the number of people who saw your post”. They also provide “total reach”, which includes the number of unique people that saw any activity from a Page also, paid versus organic search.

What is Exposure?

Exposure expands potential audience by measuring not just the number of followers, but by the number of followers an account has. Every time a person shares something in social, it is delivered to their own set or list of followers and each instance is called an impression.

In measuring reach, you would need to account all of you following on each social media network (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc..) and that is just about it.

Measuring exposure can be tricky most especially if the goal is to track the impressions of a particular campaign. The use of quality social media management tools (or teams) or any other analytics platforms will automatically track this for you. This is the suggested way to measure exposure but if you would want to calculate it manually, tally up your total follower count and each time your content is shared. Remember to focus on the sharing statistics for each social media account as well as the links from your website or blog to calculate your average number of impressions.

How to Use Both Reach and Exposure

  1. Use exposure to help measure the spread of a conversation.
  2. Determine the buzz within your audiences and find what type of content had received the highest exposure. Capitalize on this research for future campaigns and content creation.
  3. Track your competitors’ exposure to have an idea of the share of voice.
  4. Combine both reach and exposure data to help form a more complete understanding in your social media efforts towards your goals.